Big Ten Power Rankings: March 10

  • 03/10/2014 10:42 am in

(Photo credit: Dustin Johnson,

The Inside the Hall Big Ten Power Rankings are back following the final week of league play. This week’s rankings feature a look at where all 12 teams in the Big Ten stand following what was a thrilling — and unpredictable — regular season.

Without further ado, check out where each team stands after all 18 games of league play: 

12. Purdue (15-16, 5-13, PPP: 1.0, PPP Allowed: 1.08) (LAST WEEK: 11) … The Boilermakers are in free-fall mode, losing their sixth-straight game this past Sunday — at home — to Northwestern. And with that, it sealed the Boilermakers’ spot alone in last place in the conference standings. After the loss to the Wildcats, coach Matt Painter said the fall of his program has been “my fault.” Well, the Boilermakers now have a ways to go to get back to the top echelon of the league.

11. Northwestern (13-18, 6-12, PPP: .88, PPP Allowed: 1.03) (LAST WEEK: 12) … It took until the last game of the regular season, but the Wildcats finally got back into the win column. After losing seven straight after starting the Big Ten season with a 5-5 mark, the Wildcats went into West Lafayette on Sunday and breezed their way to a 74-65 win in which Purdue did not offer much resistance. Finally, the Wildcats got something to build on.

10. Penn State (15-16, 6-12, PPP: 1.0, PPP Allowed: 1.06) (LAST WEEK: 10) … Pat Chambers’ squad might not have gotten the end to the season it had hoped for in an 18-point loss at Minnesota on Sunday, but it’s been a season of progress for the Nittany Lions, who finished the regular season outside of last place for the first time since the 2010-2011 season. They do get a second chance at the Golden Gophers this Thursday in Indianapolis in the opening round of the Big Ten tournament.

9. Indiana (17-14, 7-11, PPP: 1.0, PPP Allowed: 1.04) (LAST WEEK: 7) … Take two steps forward, take another two back. After two resume-building wins over Iowa and Ohio State the week before, the Hoosiers followed it last week with two losses to both Nebraska and Michigan in which the Hoosiers’ second half effort, once again, came back to haunt them. Against the Cornhuskers, the offense stagnated. Against the Wolverines, it turned the ball over. And the Hoosiers finished the regular season with its worst conference record since 2010-2011 because of it.

8. Minnesota (19-12, 8-10, PPP: 1.05, PPP Allowed: 1.08) (LAST WEEK: 9) … The Golden Gophers are living on the bubble, right now, and they avoided a bubble-bursting loss at home to Penn State in an 81-63 win on Sunday. They get the Nittany Lions again on Thursday with a potential match-up with Wisconsin looming on Friday.

7. Illinois (18-13, 7-11, PPP: .95, PPP Allowed: 1.02) (LAST WEEK: 8) …  Sans the blowout loss to Michigan on Tuesday, the Fighting Illini appear to be peaking at the right time. After an impressive win in East Lansing a week earlier, they followed it with a thrilling win at Iowa on Saturday — thanks to a Jon Ekey, buzzer-beating 3-pointer in the second half. And heading into the Big Ten tournament, John Groce’s squad has now won four of its past five games.

6. Iowa (20-11, 9-9, PPP: 1.13, PPP Allowed: 1.06) (LAST WEEK: 3) … There have been times, this season, when the Hawkeyes were declared a potential Final Four squad. It hasn’t been an easy road to that point, and they are in the midst of a dangerous slump. With two losses to Michigan State and Illinois this week, the Hawkeyes are losers of five of their past six games heading into Thursday’s Big Ten tournament opener against Northwestern.

5. Ohio State (23-8, 10-8, PPP: 1.03, PPP Allowed: .96) (LAST WEEK: 5) … It was a battle, but the Buckeyes emerged with a big, 69-67 victory over Michigan State on Senior Night in Columbus on Sunday. They are certainly a lock for the NCAA tournament, but the win over the Spartans is another résumé-booster in time for Selection Sunday this weekend.

4. Michigan State (23-8, 12-6, PPP: 1.11, PPP Allowed: 1.02) (LAST WEEK: 4) … After the loss to Ohio State on Sunday, Spartans coach Tom Izzo said his team was “a little wimpier than we used to be.” It ended a lackluster final month-and-a-half to the regular season in which the Spartans went 5-7 from Jan. 25 to March 9. The Spartans still have a bye, though, in the Big Ten tournament — but don’t have much time to build confidence with the “Big Dance” looming. 

3. Nebraska (19-11, 11-7, PPP: .99, PPP Allowed: .99) (LAST WEEK: 6) … The Cornhuskers are having fun, and it’s taken them to new heights. With two wins against Indiana (in Bloomington) and against No. 9 Wisconsin this past week, the Cornhuskers have potentially sealed an NCAA tournament bid and have become one of the best stories of college basketball. Last season, the Cornhuskers were 5-13 in Big Ten play. They’re now good enough to have earned a bye in the Big Ten tournament. 

2. Wisconsin (25-6, 12-6, PPP: 1.13, PPP Allowed: 1.05) (LAST WEEK: 2) … The streak finally ended in a nine-point loss in a raucous Pinnacle Bank Arena on Sunday, but the Badgers remain hot heading into the Big Ten tournament as winners of eight of their past nine games. This was a 4-5 team in conference play on Feb. 1, but Bo Ryan’s squad has turned it around and could be primed to make its first run past the Sweet Sixteen since 2005.

1. Michigan (23-7, 15-3, PPP: 1.17, PPP Allowed: 1.06) (LAST WEEK: 1) … The confetti streamed down from the ceiling of the Crisler Center on Saturday, after the Wolverines had escaped with an 84-80 victory over Indiana. They were Big Ten champions — and they were three games ahead of anyone else in the standings. The Wolverines have had an incredible turn-around after an 8-4 start to the regular season, and they’ve now won six of their last seven games heading into the Big Ten tournament in Indianapolis, facing either the Hoosiers or Fighting Illini on Friday.

Filed to:

  • N71

    What Nebraska has done is just short of amazing, something Penn State and Northwestern haven’t been able to do in decades. Hats off to the Cornshuckers.

  • DRT

    But is Nebrasketball here to stay?

  • mckillio

    With Nebraska really excelling, at least our losses to them don’t seem as bad now.

    I’ve always judged coaches/teams on how well they make half-time adjustments and seems to me that Crean has never been good at this. Thoughts?

  • N71

    I think it was Dakich that essentially said that’s a misnomer…any coach worth their salt will make adjustments 5 minutes into the game if there’s a big vulnerability being exploited. I’m going to hold onto that one if Crean is going to be our coach for the next number of years. Now the next question should be, “Is Cream indeed making those ‘adjustments’ 5 minutes in?” Could be a good one for Dan’s radio show today.

  • MillaRed

    No offense, but if Dakich knew how to coach, he would be coaching. Been there, didn’t do that well.

    5 minutes into a game vs 20 minutes of time to download with your staff and players are very different scenarios. I refuse to believe there is not some logic involved with IU regularly going into a half with a lead and losing the game in the 2nd half. Adjustments are being made and they are being made better on the other side.

    I’ve said it for many years, with the game within reach, and in the end of those games, I do not have a lot of faith that CTC will get the best of the other coach. I.e. putting the team in the best position to win with consistency.

    As well as we played the last few losses, I will never understand that Howard substitution and our hesitancy to foul at teh end of Nebraska. Wasted 18 seconds. So instead down 2 with 21 seconds we had 3. Boggles my mind.

  • MillaRed

    Nebraska is the 2nd youngest team in the Big Ten. The main guys are all sophs.

  • plane1972

    Have to think Tim Miles gets quite a few looks from programs with vacancies. No reason to leave Nebraska, though. Strong conference affiliation, great young roster, nice new facilities, and things are rolling.

  • Ole Man

    Could be wrong, Milla, but I think they’re 3rd, behind, Mich.

  • Kyl470

    Wait a second that can’t be right. I heard all year that if you’re a young team that you can’t be good.

  • deebo

    I think as long as miles is there they have a pretty darn good shot. Iu hasn’t beat them yet.

  • Hardwood83

    Depends on what Miles wants. Nebraska has never won a single NCAA game. Does he want to be the one to make NU basketball or go somewhere easier to succeed? Awfully tough to win consistently in the B1G- especially at a football school.
    Gotta think if a big-boy program comes calling he’ll have to listen.

  • MillaRed

    Either way the big three are all sophs.

  • Hardwood83

    Was reading about the UNC-Duke game and a Carolina fan wrote- ‘This team isn’t talented enough to play stupid’. Boy doesn’t that sum up IU’s year?
    Maybe 3-4 teams were more talented then the Hoosiers this season, but most of them played smarter. TO’s and Defensive lapses mostly. Certainly looked like a young team and there are signs of progress in specific individuals. Let’s hope they pull it together the rest of this year and reach their potential next year.

  • Tharnid Wanderer

    Wrong…we beat them 81 – 68 last year

  • MillaRed

    So he is awesome in keeping them inspired for one half. And only first halves. That doesn’t make any sense.

    Correct me if I’m wrong, we led in 8 or 9 Big Ten first halves and lost? And that is not an X and O thing? Guess I’m missing something.

  • Alford Bailey

    I believe he stays. Nebraska has obviously made a commitment to basketball with the new arena. I used to buy the football school argument but no longer do. Look at UM, UW ,MSU, OSU all had more success than IU in basketball, recently, at so called football schools.

  • VICTORy is Ours

    Problem with that argument is that if your team is ahead at halftime, particularly by double digits, I wouldn’t really expect a lot of adjustments to be made by the winning coach. I would expect the losing coach to be the one to make the adjustments.

    Now, after those adjustments are made, the winning coach may need to make some tweaks to account for those. But to say that losing leads after halftime in the first five minutes is on Crean because he didn’t make adjustments doesn’t really make much sense to me. Make the other team prove they can stop you, then adjust.

  • HoosierFanaticFromUSI

    Man, I didn’t think Purdue would be world beaters this year but I definitely thought they would be better than they were last year, but damn was I wrong! Same overall record heading into the B1G tourney as last year, but this time they finish in sole possession of last place in the conference.

    How did we lose to that team?!!!!!!!!!!!???

    Gotta think Painter’s seat is getting a little hot…

  • MillaRed

    It’s a number of things. The most important being the last 10 minutes where we completely fall on our face. When they have completely taken away our advantage, he does, well, nothing. It’s the same movie over and over. The offense goes completely stagnant, we start hurling the ball into the stands, walk-ons get time over scholarships, he starts flipping through that folder frantically and the game is over.

    I don’t have the answers. But the proof is right there. We can’t put two halves together. Consistently bend at the same point in the game and it’s more than coincidence.

    We just watched the same team we saw three months ago. Never got better as a team.

  • Alford Bailey

    Wow, whats’s going on in W. Lafayette? Painter has a couple of decent recruiting classes up there. Some of those nice three star guys that have always been PUkes bread and butter. I pay no attention to them so I wonder if Painter is on the hot seat? Yea they spanked IU but last in the B1G? My biggest fear is Painter leaves and they hire some young guy with a lot of energy who realizes what a gold mine Indiana high school basketball is and goes after it.

  • Sarasota Hoosier

    I have been critical of CTC this year, for good reason in my opinion. However, you cannot escape how young IU is this year, coupled with how IU wants to play, i.e. uptempo. 4 thousand point scorers gone from last year’s team. I know I will get jumped on because other teams are young and successful, but I bet if you performed analysis over the past 20 years, teams that have gone to sweet 16 and lost the majority of scoring and rebounding like IU, struggled in the following year. Just saying….. Now, lets win the Big 10 tournament, it should be almost like a home crowd. We are talented enough that we can beat every team in it, but could lose to any team as well. I am hoping that Noah’s foot can withstand 4 games in 4 days.

  • PDXHoosier

    When I watched Nebraska play in the B1G-ACC challenge, I realized they were a completely different team than last year, and picking them to finish last was a mistake (still didn’t think they would finish top 4 though!).
    They have a new arena and a good coach- kudos to them. We’ll see if Miles will stick around to make them consistently good.

  • MillaRed

    Nicely said, but the same IU team that beat Wisconsin, Michigan etc is the same team we want to label “young.” Nebraska is indeed quite young, as is Michigan.

  • Ole Man

    No doubt that they’re going to be tough going forward.

  • jeffupnorth

    Petteway and Pitchford are both transfers to Nebraska. It’s very hard to continually stock a program with transfers.

  • SeeingRed

    Painter completely fell on the sword today in the local paper. Synopsis: I recruited these guys, and they don’t play smart, don’t play hard, and tend toward being selfish on the court. He went on to imply that he doesn’t deserve any slack for his inability to coach these guys up, or his recruiting whiffs, because he has been in charge of the program for nine years. No bones about it, the status of PU basketball is “my fault.”

    I find his candor quite refreshing.

  • Alford Bailey

    Got a lot of respect for a coach who says the buck stops here.

  • SeeingRed

    Agree. Seems to be a rare trait, indeed. Probably because it requires some painfully honest self evaluation.

  • Sarasota Hoosier

    I agree, but our young team is playing without the same coaching levels as those 2 teams you mention. Experience can make up for poor tactical coaching and turnovers.